Day: May 8, 2020

Did I Just Hear Clearview Will Stop Selling It’s Facial Technology Service to Private Firms?

The notoriously controversial firm Clearview has finally decided to stop all its sales for private companies.

It was found out that the company has decided to cancel all such accounts which weren’t backed or associated with a law enforcement agency or recognized by the federal state or the local government.

As per why Clearview made this sudden decision, it’s because controversies against the firm have been circulating the market for quite some time putting the firm’s name in the hot waters. It was under the radar of the local government authorities for a while and when the authorities realized that it’s high-time, they issued different lawsuits against the firm proclaiming the unlawful conduct. The company was found gathering personal information on people in real-time from different social media platforms in order to make its Face Recognition technology work for the firms it was employed by. 

More than billions of image data was being harvested by the firm from various media platforms. 

Back in February, the organization found itself already in the limelight when some notorious hackers hacked into the consumer database of Clearview. After the debacle, many privacy experts raised a flag of concern against this organization and said that it is now unsafe to fully entrust in Clearview.  

Once the breach took place, the authorities did a background check and realized that the organization was involved in commercial dealings of the product. In order to make a few extra bucks on the side, the company failed to realize the threat its technology posed to the people around the world. How this face recognition technology can result in losing data worth millions. If fallen in the wrong hands, how this data could be manipulated and used to perform unlawful or unethical activities. 

Based on the following dangers, the organization received a lawsuit from the state of Illinois against the firm. The lawsuit clearly stated that this is nothing more than a breach against the state’s privacy laws. In response to the lawsuit, Clearview has come out presenting its clarity by saying that they will not be selling their technology on to private firms commercially or anyone within Illinois may it be a private firm or a law enforcement agency. They have also further concluded that they will halt their sales to private firms outside the states as well. 

As per how many private customers was Clearview entertaining? 

Reportedly, there were almost 105 private customers who were residing in the state of Illinois that were benefiting from the Clearview technology. It also included people from the Chicago Police Department, the office of Illinois Secretary of State, and a majority of government-backed institutions.  

It has also observed criticism from software giants like Google LLC and Twitter Inc. Both have demanded Clearview to stop collecting information on images as a means to identify the public. 

As the events unfold, it was revealed that the organization was distributing its technology around the world. It was delivering the news technology to more than 27 different countries. It was entertaining with the service to more than 2,000 different police departments and it was also serving many law enforcement agencies by facilitating them with the face recognition technology. 

In fact, just a few days ago, there was also news circulating on The Verge magazine regarding the facial recognition startup. The Clearview AI lost its respective source, some secret keys and cloud storage credential, and even app copies in a security hacking incident. A server was found exposed to the public which was discovered by Mossab Hussien, who is currently working as the Chief Security Officer at a firm called SipderSilk. Anyone can easily log into the server and collect relevant info,